What is NOT Cancer 20

Driving up to Mendocino to attend my brother Hal’s 30th Annual Abalone Dive.

Frying up fish and chips with fish caught 8 hours before.

Tio frying up some awesome fish.

Finding a wetsuit to fit my post-chemo body that I can actually afford to buy. Using wetsuit and boogie board to kick out to the kelp forest to watch folks dive for abalone.

Marveling that it can actually be sunny on the Mendocino coast in summer.

Kayaking through sea caves in the SUN.

Struggling through traffic and traffic to get to Tahoe.

Watching kids go inner-tubing behind a speed boat and deciding that the drive was worth it.

All ready to go tubing

Returning to Monterey, the place my daughter was born. Still enjoying the Monterey Aquarium.

The jellyfish are awesome.

Walking the dogs, and walking the dogs, and walking the dogs again.

Erin, Jake and Kit take a rest in the ice plant during the daily walk at Ft. Funston.

Buying a few school clothes that my daughter really doesn’t need. September always feels so full of possibilities, even when you’re decades out of elementary school.

Finally feeling good enough to boogie board at Stinson Beach. Remembering what a blast it can be.

Finally finding a work schedule that allows me to actually get some work done. Hey, an income stream wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.


About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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1 Response to What is NOT Cancer 20

  1. What an amazing odyssey you have made! This should be compiled into a book. SERIOUSLY, I would buy it.

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